Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) has launched post graduate and under graduate programmes in gender studies following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the tertiary institution and the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social welfare.
The Diploma, Degree, and Masters of Science (Msc) in Gender to be offered by LUANAR was launched by President Peter Mutharika on Sunday at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre after being crowned champion for higher education in Africa by the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (Ruforum).
The introduction of the programmes will see a total of 90 students undergoing Diploma in Gender Development, Bachelor of Science degree in Gender and Development and Master of Science degree in Gender and development getting scholarships from the Gender Equality and women empowerment (GEWE) project which is being implemented by the Ministry of Gender and is supported by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The MOU was signed by Luanar Vice Chancellor Professor George Kanyama-Phiri and Principal Secretary for Gender Mary Shaba .
“The introduction of the gender studies will help strengthen the capacity of national gender machinery through training of both private and public officials in gender and development because in the past, many of the gender practitioners were doing their job out of experience but now they will be trained at a higher level,” GEWE Project Coordinator Innocent Hauya told a GEWE review meeting in Lilongwe recently.
He also said the GEWE project helped Luanar in developing course modules for the diploma programme.
Hauya also said GEWE will offer scholarships to 30 diploma students, 50 degree students and 10 masters degree throughout the duration of their studies.
According to Luanar Deputy Dean in the faculty of Food and Human Sciences Andrew Joabe , the gender courses will be delivered either in block release, modular system, full time or off campus.
Joabe said the institutionalization of the gender policy at the university will be a model approach for other tertiary institutions in the country.